Posts Tagged ‘Gorham Middle School’

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Tracy’s COVID Teaching Story +

June 24, 2020

Music teacher extraordinaire

Tracy Williamson

My musical career started in 4th grade when I picked up the flute in the beginning band at Metcalf Middle School in Exeter-West Greenwich, RI. My middle school music teacher, Joe Smith, was an inspiration to me and all my classmates. He was quirky, fun, and taught us interesting and different music.  It was truly an amazing middle school music experience. I would definitely say that he inspired me to be the kind of teacher I am today. 

I went to Boston University for my Bachelors degree in Flute Performance and to Boston Conservatory after that for my Masters degree in Flute Performance and Music Education. I then moved up to Maine and finished my certification requirements through USM while playing in the Southern Maine Community Orchestra and continuing to seek out performance opportunities in the area.

My first teaching job was at Marion T. Morse Elementary School in Lisbon Falls teaching K-5 General Music and beginning band. I was hired at Gorham Middle School (GMS) in 2003 when the school was built and I was tasked with developing a brand new middle school music program that had not previously existed. Currently I teach General Music to all 6th & 7th grade students, Chorus for middle school and Steel Band to middle and high school students. My amazing colleague, Rose Skillling, also teaches GMS General Music as well as the Band and Jazz Band program.

I have always been a huge proponent of educational technology and the positive impact it can have on music education particularly in schedules where we see students so infrequently. dHaving Apple devices, a large portion of my curriculum has been based in Garage Band for many years. So when our technology director announced that the entire 6th grade would be moving to Chromebooks a few years ago I had a panic attack thinking I was going to completely lose the amazing possibilities I had opened up for the students. I did some research and I found a couple of apps that would work on the Chromebooks in a similar way and thankfully administration was super supportive and on board with purchasing Soundtrap and WeVideo for every student in the 6th grade.  Unbeknownst to me, this was about to open up a whole new avenue of connections across the world for me and the students.

At the time, Soundtrap, a small company based in Sweden, was still only a few years old and not that well known. But there happened to be a Maine educator who had connected with them and taken a position as an educational consultant. I quickly connected with her, and we teamed up to present Soundtrap at the student MLTI conference the same year I introduced the software to my curriculum. From there, the opportunities for sharing student work, lessons, ideas, connecting with music educators, blog posts, and articles just kept coming. Soundtrap has since been acquired by Spotify and is being widely used by educators and musicians. In January of 2020, through Soundtrap, I connected with the Society for Online Music Education and was invited to direct a Virtual Choir project for the International Music Education Summit to be premiered in mid-March. There were a couple of other Virtual Choir projects out there that I knew about but this was to be a new vision, one that included collaboration amongst participants, making Soundtrap the ideal software to use. We had a handful of teachers signed up for the pilot project. Things were going calmly and smoothly, and then COVID-19 hit us.

With the swift move to on-line learning, every music educator in the world immediately started to seek out virtual ensembles for students to participate in. Our project was quickly populated with hundreds of teachers and students and my director position got a lot more complicated! I asked two Maine colleagues, Rachel Scala-Bolduc and Patrick Volker, to help create vocal practice tracks to support the diverse group of new participants. Another music educator who teaches full-time at a virtual school suggested I try a Zoom rehearsal for participants to help them learn the parts. She hosted a how-to-run-a-virtual-rehearsal webinar that I participated in which ended up being an invaluable resource. The edit of the recordings took many, many hours of organizing, communicating, editing, and figuring out how to make the best quality audio. At one point I was playing the tracks for my husband and he suggested just dipping the volume at a certain point and it made a huge difference! During another moment of frustration, I listened to one of Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choirs to get some inspiration and realized that reverb was a key component to blending the voices that I had yet to try. I am so thankful for this learning opportunity because it gave me a head start for what was to come with the extension of distance learning to the end of the year.

As soon as our school announced the closure in March, I set up Zoom virtual rehearsals with the Chorus classes right away. We continued rehearsing just the same as we had in school. The only difference being, I couldn’t hear them as a group and they couldn’t hear each other. We experimented together, recorded during Zooms, recorded after Zooms, talked about other apps that might accommodate multiple singers, but we just kept on our path of our end-of-year performance goals and figured out everything together along the way. The students continued learning music we had started in school and also learned new music purely through our virtual rehearsals. In the end, they have recorded six pieces of music during our time home due to COVID-19, all of which I am turning into virtual choir videos to serve as our “spring performance”. While this is certainly not an ideal scenario for ensembles to rehearse, it is temporary and it can be successful!  

Unfortunately, because the steel pans are housed at school, and the steel band program is extracurricular, that is now in a bit of a holding pattern until we know the future of getting back into the school this Fall.  I have been researching apps that could provide some type of virtual pan experience to get the students by in the meantime and I have been in communication with our facilities department about potentially holding outdoor  parking lot rehearsals for steel band next year.

General Music Class was another whole challenge when we moved to distance learning! At GMS, students have 7-9 week rotations of Allied Arts. Both the 6th & 7th Grade Music Classes were about halfway through the rotation when we moved to online classes so we had established relationships and structures ahead of time. However, the student rotation change to a new Allied Arts class was scheduled for right after April break. This meant students and teachers connecting with and getting to know each other for the first time in a new content area, virtually.  As an Allied Arts team we worked together to help our current classes connect with the next teacher through Google Classroom. In Music Class, we introduced a Tabata composition project that combined physical activity and Music to help make the Music to PE transition smoother. The last rotation has been a challenge. It has been difficult to connect with kids with the asynchronous model that our district adopted due to many class meetings happening simultaneously. I have learned a lot about what I need to change in order to effectively teach new music concepts to individuals in an online format as opposed to a full group in person where we utilize a lot of repetition and group collaboration to help support learning. Although there are plenty of other variables in a new grouping of students, there was a marked difference in the performance of the General Music students who started before distance learning and those who started purely in the online format. This summer, my colleague and I plan to meet to talk about some of these challenges and make plans for how we can better teach General Music class should we remain in distance learning this Fall.

There have been a lot of worries circulating amongst Music teachers with research studies outlining the risks of the high transmission rate of COVID-19 through singing and instrument playing in conjunction with news of music educators being laid off in districts around the country.  The best thing we can do right now is to show our communities and administrators that, despite temporary limitations, music can and should still continue in our schools regardless of whether we are in the building or learning remotely. Think of solutions that will work and suggest them to colleagues and administrators before something is suggested for you! That also requires creativity, experimenting and out of the box thinking from all music educators. During the last few months, I had an overall participation rate of about 80% in my chorus students with a couple of overwhelmed students asking to drop and a couple of students asking to join because their schedule was suddenly free to do so. I had students completing Music Class work first thing in the morning saying they liked to do “the fun stuff” first. I had parents emailing about how much fun they had helping their child compose music or how amazing it was to hear the final virtual choir recording after hearing their child singing their part alone at home. The more success stories we share, the more everyone will continue to see the value in continued music and arts education whether we are teaching in the comfort of our classrooms or through the virtual world.  

Here are the various end-products I’ve worked on with the GMS Virtual Chorus:

“I See Colors” – May 2020

Audio recorded in Soundtrap, edited in Garage Band, video collected in Flipgrid, edited in iMovie, collage and effects in WeVideo:

 

“Home” – April 2020

Audio recorded in Soundtrap, edited in Garage Band, slideshow videos of staff messages collected in Flipgrid, compiled in iMovie:

 

“Between the Bells” – March 2020

Audio recorded in Soundtrap, edited in Garage Band, stock images from pexels.com, lyrics added in Adobe After Effects:

 

“The Tiger” – May 2020

Audio recorded in Soundtrap, edited in Garage Band, video recorded in a Zoom session, compiled and lyrics & effects added in WeVideo:

 

“The Never Ending Story” – June 2020

Audio recorded in Soundtrap, edited in Garage Band, pictures from the Gorham MIddle School Facebook page, compiled in iMovie:

 

6th Grade General Music:

“Tabata Soundtrack Project”  

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2021 Music Educator Award

June 15, 2020

Grammy Week

The Music Educator Award presented by Recording Academy and Grammy Museum have announced their quarterfinalists for 2021. Great news – three Maine music educators have been named to the list. How wonderful that three of our won Maine teachers rose to the top out of nearly 2,000 nominees!

CONGRATULATIONS Maine Music Educators:

  • CAROL CLARK – Gray-New Gloucester High School
  • PATRICK VOLKER – Scarborough High School
  • TRACY WILLIAMSON – Gorham Middle School
“I’m honored to have received the nomination for this award, but this is really for my students, and I’m happy for all of us!  This is for my current students and new graduates, for every one who has come through my music program, their parents, my administrators and the caring, supportive communities of Gray and New Gloucester. Wonderful things happen when you teach in small towns!”  ~Carol Clark

Carol Clark with her life long buddies, Loren Fields (band director Lawrence HS) and Lonnie Wescott (band & choir director Traip Academy)!

“It is such an honor to be nominated by my students and recognized on a national level. All I have ever sought to do as a music educator is bring people together, build communities through a love of music, and make the world a better place.”        ~Patrick Volker www.patrickvolker.com and we’re @redstorm_chorus on Instagram and Twitter.

Patrick Volker

“I am beyond thrilled to be nominated as a quarterfinalist for this amazing award along with so many talented music educators from all around the country!  I’m excited for my students to share in this experience with me!”  ~Tracy Williamson

Tracy Williamson

A total of 216 music teachers from 199 cities have been announced as quarterfinalists for the Music Educator Award™ presented by the Recording Academy® and GRAMMY Museum®. In total, nearly 2,000 initial nominations were submitted. In addition to our quarterfinalists, 91 legacy applicants from 2020 will also be eligible to win the award this year. Read the entire list of nominees.

The Music Educator Award was established to recognize current educators (kindergarten through college, public and private schools) who have made a significant and lasting contribution to the field of music education and who demonstrate a commitment to the broader cause of maintaining music education in the schools. A joint partnership and presentation of the Recording Academy and GRAMMY Museum, the recipient will be recognized during GRAMMY® Week 2021.

The award is open to current U.S. music teachers, and anyone can nominate a teacher — students, parents, friends, colleagues, community members, school deans, and administrators. Teachers are also able to nominate themselves, and nominated teachers are notified and invited to fill out an application.

Each year, one recipient is selected from 10 finalists and recognized for their remarkable impact on students’ lives. The eighth annual honoree will be flown to Los Angeles to attend the 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards® and a range of GRAMMY Week events. The nine additional finalists will receive a $1,000 honorarium, and the schools of all 10 finalists will receive matching grants.

Fifteen semifinalists will receive a $500 honorarium with matching school grants. The matching grants provided to the schools are made possible by the generosity and support of the GRAMMY Museum’s Education Champion Ford Motor Company Fund. In addition, the American Choral Directors Association, National Association for Music Education, NAMM Foundation, and National Education Association support this program through outreach to their constituencies.

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Glorious Celebration!

December 18, 2018

Maine Excellence in Arts EducationLast Tuesday at the State House Complex the celebration for the Maine Excellence in Arts Education was held. The Maine Arts Commission (MAC) was proud to invite young artists and musicians from throughout the state and recognize them for their accomplishments. Over 250 attended the ceremony including 160 students from SeDoMoCha (Dover-Foxcroft) and Marshwood (Eliot) Middle Schools, 45 teachers and students from 9 Maine schools/districts. The chorus students had never met each other yet they came together and sang America, the Beautiful (arr.

Marshwood Middle School music educator Kris Bisson and SeDoMoCha School music educator Kaitlin Young share conducting America, the Beautiful

Ruth Elaine Schram) which started the afternoon program in the Hall of Flags. It was amazing and moved many in attendance to tears. The visual artists were recognized for their individual artwork by Julie Richard, the MAC Executive Director and Charles Stanhope, the MAC Chair.

Students from Marshwood, under the direction of music teacher Kristine Bisson, performed a piece called The River Sings its Song. The original lyrics and music were written by the students during a collaboration with Kris and Brian Evans-Jones. Brian is a teaching artist and a poet who did a residency during the 2017-18 school year. Students made the connection between an unused bridge in their community and their place in the world as young adolescents. During the performance students shared the story of the work which you can read below:

  • Rowan: Our school is comprised of students from Eliot and South Berwick, Maine as well as from Rollinsford, New Hampshire. There are nine rivers in these three communities, with some that flow into each other, much like our student body blending two independent states. We could easily connect to our rivers and bridges since most of us spend time near them in our towns. WE CAN RELATE.
  • Sylvia sharing part of the story

    Kelsey: We took a field trip to the bridge and river to discover the history this area has experienced. We were inspired by the natural beauty as we saw a great heron fly from its spot at the river’s edge. We wrote about the decaying bridge and the babbling river as the driving force that keeps going forward no matter what the season or changes might bring. This is how we feel about our own paths in life: nothing is impossible. WE HAVE PURPOSE.

  • Samantha: We learned about the native Americans, early settlers, and modern-day dwellers at this site. + We wrote a grant to work with a poet-artist-in-residence, Mr. Brian Evans-Jones, to help us dig deeply and gather thoughts into one complete lyric. + We learned how to create music that fit our thoughts and translate into comfortable melodies our voices could sing. + We trusted our fellow students to share our honest thoughts and ideas which led to a larger collaboration with our entire class; and later, the entire chorus of seventy-six students. WE LEARNED ABOUT EACH OTHER.
  • Julia: Our composition has two sections: one slow and solemn section for the bridge: abandoned, destined to be removed; another section for the river: always moving, reaching forward, regardless of destination, an unpredictable path.  The bridge is presented at the beginning, for this is what you see from afar as you travel the road. But surrounding the bridge, always, is the river. The river holds hope: providing power still, for our town. It is cleansing. It is peaceful. It is free. WE CREATE OUR LEARNING.
  • Marshwood Middle School Music educator, Kris Bisson, conducting the chorus.

    Eva: BRIDGING ADOLESCENCE: A RIVER FLOWS THROUGH USIN 2007, THE GREAT WORKS RIVER BRIDGE IN SOUTH BERWICK, MAINE WAS CLOSED BY THE STATE DUE TO DETERIORATION. IT WAS TOO EXPENSIVE TO REPLACE.   ONCE A SCENIC DRIVE ON VINE STREET, IT NOW COULD NOT BE TRAVELLED BY CAR, BICYCLE, OR FOOT. WHEN OUR CHORUS TOOK A FIELD TRIP TO EXPLORE, WRITE, AND DISCOVER THIS BEAUTIFUL AREA, MANY OF OUR STUDENTS HAD NEVER BEEN HERE. 10 YEARS OF OVERGROWTH COVERED THE ROAD AND SURROUNDING AREA THAT HAD BEEN DORMANT. WHAT COULD WE DO TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE?

  • Sylvia: PEOPLE BUILD BRIDGES, BRIDGES BUILD COMMUNITIES, COMMUNITIES BUILD OPPORTUNITIES. MARSHWOOD MIDDLE SCHOOL CHORUS DECIDED THAT WE WOULD EMBRACE OUR COMMUNITY AS OUR CLASSROOM. The metaphor of ADOLESCENCE being a BRIDGE was an easy one to relate to because there is a path before us;  yet we cannot predict the journey. And travelling the path is something we all have to do… sometimes together… sometimes alone… or sometimes with help…The elements of nature, history, and a sense of belonging are important to the human spirit. AND THIS IS WHAT WE WROTE…. WE HAVE POWER.
  • Kendra: We learned that a new footbridge for bikes and pedestrians is being planned by a local neighborhood organization. We wanted to help with this effort and held a school-wide Talent Show. We donated our proceeds to the Bridge Brigade towards the one-million-dollar cost of this project. We even had a model of the footbridge on display in our school to help spread the word about the efforts being made to keep a bridge in this location. WE EDUCATE OTHERS AND MAKE AN IMPACT. 
  • Students sharing the story, Hall of Flags, State House

    Dani: Beyond the notes, our students learned about each other and themselves. This project helped us to become reflective writers. We respected everyone’s personal ideas and many times offered encouragement to each other. We experienced creating melodies and harmonies that were designed entirely by us. We recorded melodies and emailed them to Mrs. Bisson or went to the piano to play what was in our heads so we could share with the class. And we shaped them all into one cohesive work: “THE RIVER SINGS ITS SONG”. WE COLLABORATE, AND TOGETHER,WE GROW.

  • Sabrina: In November of 2018 the State Department of Transportation removed the existing bridge. NOW THERE IS A VOID. We experienced history. We saw a bridge in need of repair. We learned that it wasn’t going to be healed. We witnessed photos of its removal. We witnessed loss. We would like to include two reflections from our chorus members to share the impact this project has had on our own development: “As we have experienced composing, practicing, and reflecting, I have developed a strong emotional connection with this piece. It symbolizes the change of our town landmark, but also the change I now see in me.
  • Kendra: “The struggles of adolescence are travelled by all of us and therefore, all can relate to this piece. The river’s emotions are brought to life in this lilting piece full of sorrow and mystery. Hope intertwines and creates crescendos of joy. Let the river sing its song!”

The performance was video taped in its entirety and posted on the Marshwood Education Foundation (one of the projects’ funders) Facebook page and by Senator Shenna Bellows. I suggest that you take a few minutes and watch and listen!

SeDoMoCha Middle School Chorus

Students, under the direction of SeDoMoCha music teacher Kaitlin Young, performed Glorious. And, incredibly glorious it was! The song was based on the composition performed by Macklemore, featuring Skylar Grey. The additional lyrics and choral arrangement was created by the SeDoMoCha Middle School Chorus which was based on their developmental transition. The audience was moved by their words and obvious passion for singing.

Olivia Larson, grade 4, Hancock Grammar School. Art teacher: Jane Snider

Thirty-six students representing nine schools along with their art teachers were recognized for their artwork which is part of an exhibit in the State House Complex including the Governor’s reception area, the Health and Human Services committee meeting room, the Education and Cultural Affairs committee meeting room, and MAC. This is a “first” time exhibit – the student work hangs in the same location as their teachers. The schools and teachers included in the exhibit are listed below. All are teacher leaders with the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative. Grade 4 student from Hancock Grammar School, Olivia Larson was so excited and proud she said: “This is the best day of my life”.

  • Gorham Middle School, Teacher: Amy Cousins
  • Hancock Grammar School, Teacher: Jane Snider
  • Jonesport Elementary and Jonesport Beals High School, Teacher: Lisa Marin
  • Marshwood Middle School, Eliot, Teacher: Melanie Crowe
  • Maranacook Middle School, Readfield, Teacher: Hope Lord
  • Oxford Hills High School, South Paris, Teacher: Cindi Kugell
  • Brewer High School, Teacher: Lori Spruce
  • Richmond Middle School and High School, Teacher: Jeffrey Orth
  • Waterville High School, Teacher: Suzanne Goulet

Amy Cousins, Gorham Middle School art teacher and two of her students receiving their certificates from Argy Nestor, left and Julie Richard, right

The pride was evident in the faces of students, teachers, family members, and legislators. The art is on display at the following locations until April 31, 2019:

  • Maine Arts Commission
  • Cross Office Building second floor North and South corridors
  • Education & Cultural Affairs Committee room 202
  • Health & Human Services Committee room 209
  • State House, Office of the Speaker of the House
  • State House, Governor’s Reception Area

If you’d like a map that includes the location of each piece email me and I’d be glad to email or snail one to you.

Below is a video created by the Maine Arts Commission Marketing & Communications Director Ryan Leighton. You can see photos of the artwork at THIS LINK and photos of the day at THIS LINKI hope you’ll visit the exhibit.

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Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Amy Cousins

May 20, 2014

This is the eighth blog post for 2014 and the third phase of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative of this series sharing arts teachers’ stories. This series contains a set of questions to provide the opportunity for you to learn from and about others.

Screen shot 2014-05-10 at 10.24.31 PMAmy Cousins has been teaching in one form or another since she was 19 years old. She has been in public education, as an art teacher, for 17 years. Amy teaches Middle Level Art and Alternative Education (Integrated Arts and Outdoor Education) at Gorham Middle School. She teaches approximately 300 Art Students and 15 Alternative Education students.

What do you like best about being an arts educator?

I LOVE the creative part of lesson planning and figuring out how to engage all students. Teaching art is about observation. Who are my students? What do they respond to and what engages them to be creative problem solvers? It’s wonderful to watch students wrestle with ideas and concepts and come up with their own solutions.

What do you believe are three keys to ANY successful visual and performing arts education?

1.) Exploration – The freedom to explore.
2.) Ingenuity – To foster ingenuity.
3.) Challenge  – The ability to challenge in unique, individual ways.

How have you found assessment to be helpful to you in your classroom?

Assessment is the key to validating what we do as art teachers. It helps students recognize their strengths and what they need to work on. A good assessment tool guides students through the process of making, analyzing and interpreting their  art work. As a teacher it helps me to craft lessons that meet the standards, but still embrace artistic license.

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the arts assessment initiative?

The benefits have been plentiful but the biggest gift I have received from the MAAI is camaraderie. It has been an absolute pleasure to meet and be energized by individuals from all over the state! They have given me new ideas, helped problem solve the old ones  and have revitalized my desire to teach.

What are you most proud of in your career?

Not sure yet, ask me when I am 94!

What gets in the way of being a better teacher or doing a better job as a teacher?

Time. There is never enough time to get it all done! We only get a brief glimpse of our students during the course of a year. In some cases as few as 35 hours. That doesn’t allow students enough time to fully explore all the endless avenues of art, nor does it allow for retention of concepts, techniques or processes from year to year. I consistently feel like I am taking 1 step forward and 4 backwards.

What have you accomplished through hard work and determination that might otherwise appear at first glance to be due to “luck” or circumstances?

Think that’s another one you are going to have to ask when I am 94.

Look into your crystal ball: what advice would you give to teachers?

Remember your job is to not only to educate students but to engage them in manner that leaves them craving for more.

If you were given a $500,000.00 to do with whatever you please, what would it be?

Right know I would do just about anything for about 20,000.00 to buy a classroom set of iPads. So I am going to take this opportunity to shamelessly advocate for my cause. Anybody want to make a donation????

Imagine you are 94 years old. You’re looking back. Do you have any regrets?

I have made a gazzilion mistakes in my life and I don’t regret any of them.  Mistakes are how we learn. If you regret them, you haven’t learned anything.

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Arts Day at Gorham Middle School

March 30, 2014

646 middle school students

On Wednesday, April 2nd, instead of going to regular classes, all of our 646 middle school students will be rotating through various sessions in Art, Music, Dance and Theater for Arts Day. Last year we had a Music and Dance Day and it was so successful with the students, staff, and community that we decided to do it again and incorporate all the Arts!

Many local artists are generously volunteering their time or greatly reducing their normal fees to join us for this great event. Also many of our talented staff members who also have hobbies or second careers in the arts will be running workshops.  Students will sign up for their choice of workshops and the whole school will have the opportunity to hear our Gorham High School Concert Band perform in our auditorium.

Last year, we hosted the Maine Marimba Ensemble, the Jerks of Grass played in our auditorium, we had a local musician from York come in to talk about his brief experience on the X-Factor and what it’s like to try to make it big in the music industry, some DJs from Q97.9 came in and gave a presentation, we had a Zumba workshop and a Hip Hop dance workshop, a music therapist, a steel drum workshop and Annagret Baier’s African drumming session which was by far the most popular!

Here is the line up for the student offerings for April 2:

ART
PETER RIMKUNAS Illustrator, Video Game Designer, Animator are just some of the art forms that Peter uses. This presentation includes the artist’s background and examples of his creations.

TESSA O’BRIEN Tessa is a painter and artist who designs on a large scale. She has painted many signs and murals for restaurants in Portland and she has also designed, constructed and painted huge art installations for big music events like Bonnaroo and Phish festivals. In this workshop, Tessa will share some of her artwork and help students create a lettering project.

DARALYN MCCOLL Learn what it takes to be a designer! You will hear a brief description of the background of an artist and see many examples of her art made with different materials. Find out how you can be paid to create art for a company or own your own design company. Daralyn uses digital programs to create a variety of work and will have you help with making your own creation.

“STICKS AND STOP MOTION ANIMATION” – MRS. DAWSON Bring your laptop for this fun and interactive animation session in the DEC

“COTTAGE INDUSTRIES” – MR. CARPENTER! Selling your arts and crafts. Mr. Carpenter will talk about and demonstrate his own Cottage Industries including jewelry making, crochet, card making and painting.

“MAKING SOMETHING FROM NOTHING” – MRS. HANLEY / SPINDLEWORKS SCREEN PRINTING! Screen print preemie baby onesies with Ms. Holden to donate to the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital. This is a great chance to learn how the screen printing process is done. Class limited to 6 students.

THEATER
LIGHTS UP IMPROV WORKSHOP! Maine’s David LaGraffe from Lights Up Improv and Portland Players is coming all the way to GMS to offer us this Theater Improv Workshop! You will spend time working with partners and in groups being silly and creating fun scenes. This is a great opportunity to work with a really fun and talented actor! Definitely not to be missed

DANCE
CONTRADANCE – KIM ROBERTS WITH CARTER & SARAH LOGAN OF THE JERKS OF GRASS Contradance is a folk dance that has become tradition in New England. Similar to square dancing, dancers are partnered up and listen to directions that are called out during the music. During the dance you have to mix up and switch partners when the caller calls it so you have to really listen and stay on your toes. Think Cha Cha Slide meets folk country.

HIP HOP DANCE – DANCE STUDIO OF MAINE Join some of the fabulous instructor’s from Gorham’s own Dance Studio of Maine and learn some hip hop dance moves you can show off at the next GMS Dance!

MUSIC
AFRICAN DRUMMING – ANNEGRET BAIER Work with renowned drummer Annegret Baier playing various drums and rhythm instruments to learn African songs and rhythms. This session was our most popular session last year!

MARIMBA PLAYING WORKSHOP Learn how to play marimba just like the Maine Marimba Ensemble with Matt Wasowski from the Gorham School of Music. Class size limited to 10.

BLUES SONGWRITING WORKSHOP Learn how to write your own Blues song with Jim Svendsen from the Gorham School of Music. Choose a topic, write the lyrics and perform your song for the class.

GORHAM HIGH SCHOOL ACOUSTIC COFFEEHOUSE & POETRY SLAM Matt Murray is bringing Gorham High School singers, songwriters, guitarists and poets to GMS to perform their own original works. You will definitely recognize some of these artists!! ! POP KARAOKE! Just how it sounds! Join Mr. P. in the 8th grade wing for a karaoke singing extravaganza. Limited to 30 students.

GUITAR & SONGWRITER’S WORKSHOP! Learn and review some basic guitar chords and chord progressions and learn how to go about writing your own songs with GMS’s own singer/songwriter, Mr. Lambert.

A CAPELLA WORKSHOP Join Señora Krohn to learn how to sing in an a capella group. Sra. Krohn has lots of experience singing in a capella groups as you all saw in the Talent Show this year. She may even break out a little beat boxing if you’re lucky!!

Thank you to Gorham Middle School General Music Teacher and Choral & Steel Band Director Tracy Williamson for sharing this information for the Maine Arts Education blog and thanks Gorham Middle School staff for providing this opportunity for your students!

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